Having just passed the celebration of Earth Day, we figured it would be fitting to talk about how your personal choice of vacuum cleaner affects the WHOLE PLANET!! Okay, that was a little dramatic. But like many actions we take in the name of being “eco-conscious,” some have greater benefits or consequences than others. Every little thing we do really does matter in some way.
Here at our vac shop we’ve met some really amazing, intelligent and conscientious folks; so mindful of where and how they shop. “All-natural, fair-trade, sustainable, eco-boost, low-carbon footprint…” Their food, furnishings, cars and more have all been acquired with great care. However, why do the majority of these same “green,” Prius-driving folks make the absolute worst choices in vacuum cleaners?! We hope no one takes offense to this observation! But from our perspective, it’s a rather disturbing and ironic trend. So, why is that happening?!
When it comes to making a “green” vacuum (or other appliance) purchase, many people can’t see the forest for the trees… Caught up in advertising hype they’ll buy something that sounds “eco-friendly”…typically because it doesn’t utilize a “disposable” dust bag. “Oh my – all of those bags going in the trash is terrible” they think. But instead they’ll have mistakenly settled for an entirely disposable machine – yikes!! The landfill issue is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the negative impact a poor-quality vacuum can cause to your home environment and to the larger environment of our earth. We have articles galore discussing a vacuum’s effect on indoor air quality. Others illustrate the fine balance between deep-cleaning and over-aggressive cleaning’s destruction of floors and furnishings. We should take good care of what we have and not be wasteful, right? Spewing dust and/or wrecking stuff just aren’t green. So, let’s keep this short and sweet with some specific advice…
Here are Queen Vacuum’s Top 5 Tips for being kinder to the Earth:
- STOP repeatedly buying crappy, disposable vacuums!
- Whatever vacuum you have, MAINTAIN it by keeping it clean, replacing it’s bags, filters, belts, etc. at the correct intervals to keep it healthy.
- REPAIR your vacuum when it’s broken or just needs basic servicing (don’t waste money and resource by throwing it out.)
- Buy a good QUALITY bagged vacuum (like by Miele), ONCE and for good (it takes a lot more resource to build a new vacuum than to fix an old one.)
- If your vacuum truly is pronounced a “goner” by our repair tech, let us RECYCLE it! Certain parts can be separated and recycled, rather than fill up the landfill.
If “going green” is one of your goals, there’s no need to drive yourself nuts. But before you pitch your old Hoover or run out to buy something new, perhaps consider some of these concepts… Learn a little about how and where things are made. In general, how much energy and resource is consumed in a product’s manufacture? How effectively do they work and how long will they last? Ask yourself: WHY you are seeking “green?” Is it for your personal health, environmental impact or perhaps both? Answering these questions will help guide your purchase. Just make sure your priority is clear as you might not be able to have it all.
Really think before you buy… get some perspective by doing a little homework and consulting an expert. Talk and do business with real, live industry professionals (ahem!) Be cautious of infomercials, random e-reviews and certain rating companies/magazines (which typically lack vital long-term perspective and/or produce very inconsistent, unscientific results.) Remember that these tips will apply to a whole lot more than vacuum cleaners. Let us all make a greater effort to stop, step back and look at the BIGGER, long-term picture of how our purchases affect the planet! And who knows – the trees might thank us one day!